Yahoo, Microsoft Still Working Out Search Deal Details


After more than a year and a half of testy courtship, Yahoo and Microsoft inked a ten-year deal last July that would see Microsoft taking over searches on Yahoo’s high-traffic Internet sites. But anyone who’s used Yahoo’s search in the last few months knows that the deal hasn’t really materialized yet: executing a Web search on Yahoo still shows Yahoo’s search engine, not Microsoft’s new (and highly publicized) Bing.

According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Yahoo and Microsoft are still trying to work out all the details of their long-term partnership. “Given the complex nature of the transaction, there remain some details to be finalized,” Yahoo wrote in the filing. “The parties are working diligently on finalizing the agreements, have made good progress to date, and have agreed to execute the agreements as expeditiously as possible.”

Although there’s no indication the Yahoo-Microsoft tie-up is in jeopardy, both companies indicate the deal-making is taking longer than either of them anticipated, and hope to have everything worked out by early 2010. However, merely working out an agreement amongst themselves is only the first step in moving ahead with the partnership: once a search deal is worked out, it still has to be approved by both U.S. and European antitrust authorities.

Microsoft and Yahoo initially estimated it might take as much as two years before all aspects of the partnership were online and operational, even after a deal was completed.

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